A government study finds that adolescent girls reported experiencing depression at three times the rate of their male peers over a recent period.
Twelve percent of girls ages 12 to 17 said they experienced a "major depressive episode" compared with 4.5 percent of boys, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
SAMHSA noted that the rate of depression among girls appeared to triple between the ages of 12 and 15 from 5.1 percent to 15.2 percent.
The study used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted between 2008 and 2010.
Forty-two percent of 17-year-old girls with depression received treatment, according to SAMHSA, compared with 32.4 percent of depressed 12-year-old girls.
"It is crucial that we provide adolescent girls the coping skills and social supports they need to avoid the onset of depression," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a statement, "and to offer behavioral health services that foster resilience and recovery if they experience it."